Vikgården – A Polished and Historic Gem within Nordlands

Vikgården is a Village Shop and Coffee bar

Situated in the the Nordland town of Mosjøen, complete with wide river, mountains and access to spectacular coastal island scenery. Mosjøen is known for the lovely and picturesque Sjøgata – an area dating back to the town’s origins in the early 1800s and features remarkably preserved and restored wooden houses and piers from that period.

I came to Mosjøen for the first time two years ago, stopping off for a visit whilst riding the slow train north to the Arctic Circle.  However, that visit was curtailed due to a rock avalanche wiping out the train line from Oslo,  forcing me to get a replacement bus service which brought me in 11 hours late. It was during that very brief glimpse of Mosjøen that I realised how lovely the place is. Framed on one side by a powerful river that links the interior fjords to the sea; and by the flank of a sleeping giant, a mountain slope, only 900 metres high but  limitless in length, seemingly blocking the route north. Standing in town, where the height of all buildings are restricted, you can see the mountain at all times. A dominating but benign presence, snow capped, even this late in June.

View from Vikgården in historic Sjøgata, Mosjøen, Norway

View from Vikgården

Although built amongst stunning surroundings Mosjoen itself does not try to present itself as a “pretty” town.  The traveller should expect a hardy settlement grown big.  Wide roads and buildings with a utilitarian feel.  But very friendly, very proud, and Mosjøen makes an excellent jumping-off point for further exploration of the wider area. It is a cyclists and kayaking paradise.
I stayed 3 nights / 4 days and could easily have stayed longer as I acclimatised to the vibe of the place.

Sjøgata sits like a clam shell wrapped around the old town. The original town, as it would have looked 150 years ago. And within this quaint glimpse of a previous era is the Vikgården. Crammed with bric-a-brac from around Europe to demonstrate the important trading connections Mosjøen developed for the region. When I had my brief visit two years ago I dropped by this place for a coffee and fell in love with it instantly. I told myself I had to come back to spend a day or more here, to sit, soak up the atmosphere and write. And that’s what I did.

I spent a day fleshing out the first few chapters of a new novel to be the sequel to Dog Eat Dog.

Marianne Steinrud at her Vikgården a Village Shop and Coffee bar in Mosjøen, Sjøgata best cafe in North Norway

Marianne Steinrud runs Vikgården

Vikgården is one of the main reasons for coming on this trip and stopping in Mosjøen. This beautiful establishment is small, friendly and exquisitely authentic as part of the 19th century experience that comes with Sjøgata. They do lovely coffee, Norwegian style – you pay for a cup, pour it yourself from a thermos and can go back for refills as often as you like. Likewise their cakes are yummy. They also put on a lovely spread of meats, fish, pasta and cheese which you can pick and choose from. If you’re looking for an authentic old-world experience with great hospitality, then put Mosjøen, Sjøgata and Vikgården on your travelling to-do list.

David J Rodger in Vikgården a Village Shop and Coffee bar in Mosjøen, Sjøgata, Norway - best cafe in Nordlands

David J Rodger in Vikgården, working on Dead Dog Bounty (new novel)

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